After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.”  And I did.  Only, I wasn’t that impressed.  He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A.  Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.”  And I did.  His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal.  Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!”  No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself.  I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player.  I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again.  But now suddenly you’re worried about the future?  You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable.  Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There are 14 games on the slate Friday night, and four of them are over an eight run number for the night. Also, there are no games less than seven runs tonight. This bodes well for DFS players who want a fat slice of those run totals for their teams. So many variables go into a big number and one is venue. The top ballparks for offense this season are: Coors Field (Rockies), Globe Life Park (Rangers), Fenway Park (Red Sox), Miller Park (Brewers), Chase Field (Diamondbacks), and the Rogers Centre (Blue Jays). Understanding what’s happening in these parks (wind, roof, etc.)  is a needed piece of prep for the night’s slate. The other is level of pitching competition. Sure, a team can go off against any old gas can, but who are they up against tonight? Finally, though this is not an exhaustive list here, a key area is the proficiency of the team at the plate. If you have a lineup full of hitters who aren’t producing, the number will reflect that. When considering this line from these agencies, one must be very diligent, watching the lineups come in and making sure you’re getting someone from that lineup into your cash games (50/50s, HTH) and making sure they are higher in the lineup in order to get extra at-bats. At DraftKings, where you aren’t penalized with negative points for outs, the extra plate appearances are definitely worth seeking out..

So choose wisely, keep an eye on the lineup as they come in on Twitter, websites and the like. Be ready to pivot to a player if he’s suddenly sitting in the 1-spot after seeing a majority of the at-bats this season a lot further down the lineup. On a night when there should be soon high scores, it’s going to pay to be on the offensive…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I get them all the time. The DFS man-crush. The players in the game that I latch onto and can’t stop rostering them, through the good times and bad. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, when you know a guy is in a good spot, it’s important that you not bail like a newb at the first 0-4. Park is good, he’s making hard contact, the handedness is in his favor again, then don’t worry, just go with it. In fact, it may make sense to commit to a player for a whole week if he’s locked in and hitting with authority.

Right now my DFS crush has been J.D. Martinez and has been for almost two months. I’ve had exposure into J.D. almost every game for between 30-45 games and the results have been fantastic. He’s been the top hard contact/expected power player over the last 30 days and has launched 13 home runs over that period of time. There have been clunkers, too, but knowing he was going good and having the prices way below his production, those days were mere speed bumps on the way to the cash freeway.

Some crushes last shorter than others. The 2014 summer of Scooter Gennett was fun. Johnny Paredes had his week or two this season and Gerardo Parra has been on man crush status for some guys as long as I’ve been on Martinez. Parra is still inexpensive, too. The newest sensation is Kyle Schwarber in Chicago. The catcher eligible slugger popped two home runs and scored 40 points Tuesday night, which may have just made many a DFS player swoon right into crushdom.

They wear off eventually – everything has to come to an end, but it’s a fun ride.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Remember when Shane Greene was a thing?  Those were the days, spring had just sprung and there was so much hope, so much optimism.  Your team ERA was so pretty then.  You had a shiny new toy fresh from the free agent pool and after his second of two 8 IP, 0 ER gems, you were feeling like the smartest guy your league.  Then, April 24th happened.  4 IP, 8 ER vs. the lefty-heavy Indians lineup.  Still you believed and then, 4.1 IP, 7 ER.  You were wounded, beaten, bloodied and you team ERA was approaching the double digit mark.  If this sounds familiar, it’s OK, we’ve all been there.  Now is the time to act and seek a little revenge against the one who hurt you.  It became apparent fairly early that Greene had some trouble with southpaws.  In fact, his season splits read like a hall of famer to be, lefties are slashing .349/.401/.592.  There are a handful of pitchers I adore stacking against and when Greene was optioned to AAA, I was sad to lose one of the best.  Aaron Harang and Bud Norris can only do so much here.  Greene is back now though and in his first start back in the majors proceeded to go 4.2 IP and give up 7 ERs.  There’s the Shane we know and love.  I really can’t dream up a more nightmarish match-up for Shane besides maybe the Yankees in the house that Jeter built.  Seattle can go lefty-heavy with the best of ‘em and I could easily see another 3 IP, 8 ER outing here.  There’s not a Seattle lefty I won’t be trying to squeeze into my lineup tonight and I’ll mention one or two below so you don’t forget.  Just remember, left on Greene and you’ll be on the road to sweet redemption.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s funny how drastic and immediate changes can be from the Minors to the Majors.  Thinking back on Trevor May who was profiled a few weeks back – the guy was walking everyone in the Minors and in his short stint in the Majors last year, to become top-25 in K:BB ratio.

But that took some seasoning.  We’re seeing something even drastic-er and immediate-er with what’s going on with the Astros younguns.  Lance McCullers went from being old Trevor May with better Ks to having an 18:0 K:BB stretch before getting a tad wilder these past few…  But he was supposed to struggle through control issues, not Vincent Velasquez!  Vinny V went from a 4.11 K:BB mowing through AA this year to 1.70 so far this year in the show with 17 Ks and 10 BB through his first three starts.

I was pretty high on Velasquez when he was called up, but maybe it was a tad too early for the 23 year old to find immediate success.  So I decided to break down his start yesterday, that should’ve been a cakewalk at the Mariners, to see how he’s looking:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There was a song in the 80’s by the surely-it-had-to-be made up stage name of Brenda K. Starr called I Still Believe. It was a typical, run of the mill, studio pop ballad sung by an artist who clearly made it her goal to sound like Madonna. It made the Top 20 in 1988 and Brenda K. Starr vanished into pop obscurity. Incredibly, her backup singer paid tribute to her former lead by re-recording it and having success in the 90’s with it. That backup singer, whose demo tape was passed forward by Starr to CBS Records and Tommy Mottola? Mariah Carey.

Early in the baseball season, it can be easy to look at some statistics and feel unsure whether someone’s previous year’s success was real or not. Corey Kluber came from the might-be level all the way to becoming the Klu-Bot, Cy Kluber last season. This year, Kluber has not looked so good, statistically, carrying an ERA of over 5.00.

But I Still Beliiiiiiieve in Kluber and I will sing it from the mountaintops. More importantly, I am happy to continue to roll him out in my cash and tournament games. In fact, I relish the fact that there is going to be a substantial part of the public that is going to back away from Kluber because of that fat ERA.

So why I am so sure that I am willing to perm my hair and sing as a soprano? For one, his K-rates remain rock solid, with a Swinging Strike rate of 13% and a K/9 rate of 9.3. These are elite numbers. That’s probably why his SIERA is much lower than his ERA, registering at a 3.20, which is 17th in the majors for pitchers with more than 20IP for this season.

In short, he’s still a top pitcher and due for some comeback. And all my singing will have been worth it. Well, to me at least.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The title’s not to be confused with a Wahlburger. By the by, Marky Mark was at my gym the other day. My man’s short. He looked like a Caucasian Altuve. Steal some bases, Marky Mark! You know, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as setting your weekly lineup and having your star go down the moment games begin on Monday. It’s more frustrating than the person in front of you trying to locate exact change. Use your debit card! What do you mean you’re going to see if there’s some loose change in your car ashtray? Cars don’t even have ashtrays anymore! In the preseason, I supposed that Hanley Ramirez would need to be moved to shortstop at some point, unable to handle The Green Monster. Yesterday, Hanley got a taste of Wally. The Red Sox said it’s a shoulder sprain, which could mean he’s back in a few days or out until July. Yay, specifics! On a related note, a Red Sox reporter from The Boston Globe tweeted in the 2nd inning, “It’s 4-0 Rays. Red Sox season could be done soon at this rate. Losses and injuries piling up.” I’m in no way a Red Sox fan, but really? Done because you’re losing in the 2nd inning of an early May game and your team is practically at .500? Wow, is that guy a Masshole. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It seems loud and clear that the roof is closing on Adam Wainwright‘s season. If only he had a 3rd Achilles he could sub in! We should be able to have a schadenfreude party since I told everyone not to draft him this year, but there’s always a few people who still draft him against my wishes, so do we ignore these people and still schadenfreude or do we show pity? *thinks for a millisecond* We schadenfreude party! The schadenfreude party is being held in the superiority complex. Put up the pinata of someone’s ego that is smarter, prettier, funnier or richer and we beat it down! Put on some tunes and let’s do the Point and Laugh Dance! That’s not the Point and Laugh Dance, that’s the African Anteater Ritual. So, Wainwright’s done for 2015 and Carlos Villanueva, Tyler Lyons or Tim Cooney could step in at first, but this will likely be Marco Gonzales’s job for the majority of the year once he returns from the minor league DL with a shoulder issue. I like Gonzales for very deep leagues, especially NL-Only ones, so if you have room, I’d grab him. He’s around a 7+ K/9, low-2 BB/9 guy that could have a 3.75 ERA or under with a good WHIP. Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I’m headed back to the schadenfreude party, hungry for self-satisfaction, eager for some prigs in a blanket! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you had 75 hours into the season for when Joakim Soria would become the closer in Detroit, you win a brand new car*! *Prizes not included (there’s no car; stop being greedy, you instead get words pieced together by the Fantasy Master Lothario). The Tigers’ pen is more of a pencil and a dull one at that. Where for art thou, Willie Hernandez? My kingdom for Todd Jones! Poopie Grande by any other name is still Poopie Grande. That was Shakespeare, you ignant boo-boo! The Tigers did get better yesterday with Joe Nathan, hitting the DL with a flexor strain in his elbow. Like when you remove that hair from your lip mole, it’s addition by subtraction. For those of you that drafted Soria, well done. Hopefully, he keeps the job all year. If Barry Manilow can find love, anything’s possible. By the by, all this time I thought he put the emphasis on Dee in Mandy. Guess I was wrong. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?